Following a 7-0 start, the Arizona Cardinals faded down the stretch in 2021, ultimately falling 34-11 to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card round. Entering 2022, head coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray are under immense pressure to get the Cardinals over the hump. However, success won’t come easy, as Arizona is coupled with the league’s second-most demanding schedule, including matchups against the daunting AFC West division. To make matters worse, the Cards will have to withstand the first six games without star wideout DeAndre Hopkins, who was suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
In what is a crucial year in the desert, here is Arizona’s road ahead.
Week 1 vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Date: Sunday, September 11 Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
The Cardinals open things up against Patrick Mahomes and the new-look Chiefs offense. Arizona’s head man Kliff Kingsbury coached Mahomes during the pair’s time at Texas Tech (2014-2016)
Week 2 @ Las Vegas Raiders
Date: Sunday, September 18 Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Arizona battles former Cardinal Chandler Jones, who signed with the Raiders in the offseason. Jones will team up with Pro Bowler Maxx Crosby, posing a formidable challenge to Arizona’s offensive line.
Week 3 vs. Los Angeles Rams
Date: Sunday, September 25 Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Kyler Murray will look to remove the sting of last season’s 34-11 loss to the Rams in the NFC Wild Card round. Murray had one of the worst performances of his career in that contest, throwing for 137 yards and two interceptions.
Week 4 @ Carolina Panthers
Date: Sunday, October 2 Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
The Cardinals have lost the past four regular-season meetings, including last year’s 34-10 drubbing.
Week 5 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Date: Sunday, October 9 Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
The last time these two sides met, Arizona’s Kyler Murray and Philly’s Jalen Hurts combined for 836 total yards and eight touchdowns in the Cardinals’ 33-26 victory. A similar high-scoring affair could be in store this time around.
Week 6 @ Seattle Seahawks
Date: Sunday, October 16 Time: 4:05 p.m ET
A must-win game against a rebuilding Seahawks squad that will presumably have Geno Smith or Drew Lock under center.
Week 7 vs. New Orleans Saints
Date: Thursday, October 20 Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
DeAndre Hopkins returns to the Cards’ lineup after serving his six-game suspension. The Cardinals welcome Tyrann Mathieu back to Arizona, where he spent the first four years of his career. Mathieu’s presence bolsters a Saints secondary that ranked among the league’s best in 2021 and will be a stern test for Arizona’s air-raid offense.
Week 8 @ Minnesota Vikings
Date: Sunday, October 30 Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Another potential high-scoring contest, as the Cardinals battle the Vikings and their new head coach Kevin O’Connell. The Cardinals won last year’s meeting 34-33 on a missed field goal by Minnesota kicker Greg Joseph.
Week 9 vs. Seattle Seahawks
Date: Sunday, November 6 Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
The Cardinals should again be heavily favored in this return engagement.
Week 10 @ Los Angeles Rams
Date: Sunday, November 13 Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
The second and final meeting with the Rams – a game that could go a long way in determining NFC West supremacy.
Week 11 vs. San Francisco 49ers
Date: Monday, November 21 Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
The Cardinals and 49ers do battle in Mexico City. Arizona downed the Niners 17-10 in Week 5 of last season in what was San Francisco QB Trey Lance’s first career NFL start. The Cardinals held Lance to 281 total yards (192 passing, 89 rushing) and intercepted the rookie in the victory.
Week 12 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Date: Sunday, November 27 Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
Star quarterbacks Kyler Murray and Justin Herbert square off for the first time in their careers – a game with shootout potential written all over it.
Week 13 BYE
Week 14 vs. New England Patriots
Date: Monday, December 12 Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Kliff Kingsbury and company return from their bye week for a Monday Night Football showdown against Bill Belichick’s Patriots. These two teams last met in 2020, New England coming away with a 20-17 victory while holding Kyler Murray to just 170 yards passing on 34 attempts.
Week 15 @ Denver Broncos
Date: Sunday, December 18 Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
Arizona squares off with a familiar foe in former Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who is 11-8-1 in his career against the Cardinals.
Week 16 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Date: Sunday, December 25 Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Two weeks after facing his former team, the Cardinals welcome Tom Brady to State Farm Stadium in Arizona’s final Primetime game of the season.
Week 17 @ Atlanta Falcons
Date: Sunday, January 1 Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
A favorable late-season matchup for the Cards, whose playoff hopes could be on the line.
Week 18 @ San Francisco 49ers
Date: Sunday, January 8 Time: TBD
The Cardinals swept the home and home with the Niners last season. With both clubs expected to be in the playoff mix, this contest could carry significant implications.
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